Over 1300 coding bootcamp graduates entered our sweepstakes competition to win a $500 Amazon Giftcard just by leaving a review for their school on Course Report. This time, our lucky winner was Johnny from online coding bootcamp Thinkful! We caught up with him to find out a bit about his coding bootcamp experience and why he decided to attend Thinkful.
Graduation Date: October 2016
What were you up to before Thinkful?
Before Thinkful, I was a content associate in the web office of a large organization. Most of my work was with content strategy and information architecture. I would help my organization with thinking about digital content and develop blueprints for the website architecture according to research from card sorts and other design processes. It was fun work, but for me it lacked the joy of seeing a designed product brought to fruition. Thinkful came in after getting the chance to work on iOS app development for another office. My wheels stopped spinning and finally gained traction after working with a mentor at Thinkful.
Did Thinkful help you become a developer?
Today, I'm still at my old job, but by night I'm living my own reality as an iOS developer. I'll start small with open source project contributions in Swift and we'll see what comes next.
What's your advice to someone considering Thinkful or another coding bootcamp?
My advice to anyone considering Thinkful or a similar kind of bootcamp is to start learning before you begin with a bootcamp. Develop habits of focus. Read the book "Deep Work" by Cal Newport. Use the Pomodoro technique and other strategies he talks about. Try developing a routine or a habit before joining a bootcamp that can carry you through the massive effort by providing spaces and routines for highly focused learning.
Pick one focus (language/platform) and stay with it. The Web is full of hype and rantings about the beginning of one tech or the demise of another. Don't fret if you see numerous articles declaring the end of native apps. Study iOS and Swift anyway (if that's your thing). The industry does not move as fast as the most read blogger on Medium. If your attraction to it is more than just money, you'll be fine.
This work is a craft, meaning you will be required to hit the same block many times before you succeed. Take it to heart that you will succeed. Find joy in the rhythm of persistence. Go to that course "Learn How to Learn" on Coursera. Refine your capacity to learn and use that to hone your craft.
The last thing is that it's all up to you. Bootcamps, especially with a mentor, are a really good source of guidance. In order to be guided, you have to be moving. Get yourself moving forward before entering a bootcamp so that you can succeed afterward.
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